Lucidchart 4 Education
Guest writer Amanda Kaestner @lucidchart
Over the past few decades, the development and implementation of technology has accelerated at an incredible rate. Computers, automated systems, and mobile apps are now part of nearly every profession and industry in the developed world. It follows that for the rising generation to be successful in a technology-heavy work environment, they need to practice integrating tech applications into their everyday activities, starting in the classroom.
One tech application you might start seeing in schools that’s available to students and teachers for free is Lucidchart. An online diagramming software, Lucidchart can help students develop tech literacy in the classroom while giving them opportunities to think critically and collaborate with peers.
Using Lucidchart, students can create timelines, mind maps, floor plans, Venn diagrams, and flowcharts to analyze plotlines, outline and memorize a book using mind maps, find the greatest common factor, or visualize the rock cycle. Ways to use Lucidchart are only limited by the imagination, but to get your creative juices flowing, take a look at some example lesson plans for grades 4-12.
Because Lucidchart is web-based, it runs on any internet browser from any computer no matter the operating system. There is no required download meaning that students can start a project at school then go home and finish it from their personal computer.
It’s also incredibly easy for students and teachers to show off their work with presentation mode. They can display an entire diagram at once using the mouse to scroll through it dynamically, or divide a diagram into slides for a more focused presentation. They can even export their presentation to Google Slides and add additional context there. Lucidchart is innovating the way we can offer visual learning to the classroom.
In addition to working anywhere, Lucidchart makes it possible for students to work with anyone. Multiple students can edit a document in real time so that everyone can contribute as groups collaborate and teachers can pop in and monitor. Whether students are working next to each other in the classroom or from a distance in their own homes, everyone’s changes are visible as soon as they are made so nobody’s ideas get overwritten.
Commenting and chat features make it easy for students to talk about ideas and plans as they diagram together from a distance or at different times. With @mention notifications they can tag each other to ask specific questions or practice delegating by giving assignments.
G Suite integration
For classrooms using G Suite for Education, Lucidchart comes with an added bonus: a seamless integration with Google Drive. With a free EDU account, users can choose to automatically sync their diagrams directly to Google Drive where all of their other documents are stored. Free add-ons for Docs, Sheets, and Slides make it possible to quickly and easily add visuals to reports, data sheets, and presentations. Help students say hello to more visual thinking, writing, and presenting.
Perks for educators
All educators and students with an EDU email address are eligible for a free Lucidchart Pro account. This means unlimited documents and shapes, 1 GB of storage, free integrations with G Suite and Microsoft Office, presentation mode, and access to other advanced shapes and features. Schools that are interested in adopting Lucidchart across the board can implement advanced security and administrative controls with the purchase of an enterprise account.
To sign up for a free EDU account:
- Navigate to Lucidchart’s free EDU sign up page.
- Sign up for a standard free account using your educational email address.
- Click your name in the top right and navigate to “Account Settings.”
- Click “Get a Free Educational Upgrade” in the bottom left navigation.
- Receive your confirmation email, click the link, and you’re all set.
The way incoming generations are interacting in a classroom is changing rapidly and it’s imperative that we adapt and feed that desire to learn. If you’ve been looking for ways to change up the way you interact with your students to help them visualize lesson plans, then Lucidchart is a perfect place to start.